Friday, July 15, 2011

Here I go again...

I have just returned from two great weeks with the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy and while I've been an instructor with them since the beginning, I always come home with new ideas. At our Houston and New Orleans academies, I lead an elective session on Science Notebooks along with three other great instructors from our academy. This year, since we added this, I did a lot of reading and went through a lot of resources about science notebooks. I've decided to make some changes, a bit more major ones than usual, to the the notebooks my students will be using.

I came home and spent two days at school working on distributing yearbooks and had a lot of time to read a few books, some articles and get started on redesigning my notebooks, adding a few new things, revising some things I already did and rethinking what I have done in the past. I thought, "I should do a blog about what I'm doing this year, add some resources and HOPEFULLY get some of the MEMTA participants to join in and give ideas, ask and answer questions and have a place for us to work through this task together."

My plans are to post resources through my Live Binder and post photos of student notebooks. 

Let's see how this works!!


  1. Hi Carla,
    I am a participant in the MEMTA in NJ this week and Gene gave me the link to your blog. What a wonderful resource! Thank you so much for creating it. I LOVE the idea of note booking but am struggling with how to begin. This is an excellent resource and I know many of the teachers who are here in attendance this week are also happy to have found your blog. I am going to purchase the Macarelli book. I am also looking at the Klentschy book as well as the Cambell/Fulton book. Which do you recommend I start with? Thank you for your advice and guidance.
    Candace Klapmuts

  2. Welcome Candace, I hope you had a fantastic week in Jersey City. MEMTA is an incredible experience and each academy I teach in enhances my classroom!

    In thinking about the three books, the Campbell/Fulton book is great if you've never used notebooks with your students, it takes you through the process of setting up notebooks. One thing about this book is that Campbell and Fulton pretty much believe that the notebook is for formative assessment only, I wish I lived in that world but since my students use their notebooks fore 85-90% of their classwork, I need to use it for grading. Heinemann does provide the first chapter of their book online and I think it's the best chapter:

    The Klentschy book is great for the format of your notebook, the meat, the components of your notebook. It provides you with what each of those components are for and what students should be doing there. I love this book, it was my first book on notebooks and made my notebooking with my students a huge window into their thinking and what I was teaching (and how affectively).

    The rubric you received on your flashdrive came from my work with the Klentschy book and I've already changed it up from the one you received. If you'd like the word doc for this, you have a pdf version, that you can change to meet your needs, let me know and I will email it to you. The student guide (which you also have) came from my students wanting an easier version of my rubric. You can see in my blog how those are going to be put into my students' notebook this coming year instead of a separate folder.

    The Macarelli book is new to me this year and I've added a few of her things into my notebooks. The big things I added were the left/right interactive side. I also really liked the connections page and have added that as my WOW Connections page. She is a high school or middle school teacher, so using all of her stuff is not appropriate for elementary school, but I do like the things I added.

    So each book has it's own purpose, I guess I'd read the first chapter of the Campbell/Fulton book, get the Klentschy and Mararelli books.

    Also check out some the articles by Klentschy in my live binder as well as the website. They have student samples and very valuable information. I will be adding more to the live binder as the year goes on and will be putting student samples when school starts.

    Thanks again for coming into the blog, ask many questions...I hope to get discussions going with other participants as well!! Good luck and please email me if you have more questions: